The Missing Keys to Building a Successful Corporate Culture

A friend of mine who owns his own company attended a seminar on building a winning corporate culture. My friend was so inspired to create a winning culture. He immediately returned home and had company meetings to let everyone know they were going to create the best company to work for ever. Yet days and weeks went by and everyone dreaded coming to work just as much as they had before. Every few weeks he would come up with another great idea that would make the company fun. Meanwhile the stress and frustration in his company continued to grow. As the weeks piled on every suggestion appeared more and more disingenuous.

It was clear that nobody cared if they could decorate their cubicles if they had to walk around on eggshells all day. Something was missing. Without this missing piece there was no hope for him to build a great corporate culture.

When building a corporate culture that generates success there are a few fundamentals that often get overlooked. They are extremely simple but without them your attempts to build a winning culture will meet resistance or worse yet, serve to alienate your employees.

If you want to build a winning culture you must do these three things: Set up the game so that company goals and employee goals are aligned. Set your employees up to win. Then celebrate the victories.

First and foremost set it up so that the company goals and employee goals are aligned. This is so common sense yet it is the thing that is most often overlooked. More often in companies the goal of the boss is to have the company succeed and the goal of the employee is to survive the boss. People want to win but if they don’t feel like they can win they will settle for surviving. You must first be clear on what the company is out to accomplish. Then you must make it clear how each person plays a part in that.

People yearn to be a part of something that is bigger than they are. Treat them like they are an important part of a bigger goal and they will naturally move toward achieving it.

Set your employees up to win. If everyone is on the same team and working toward the same goal, it makes perfect sense that you would want everyone to succeed. This is where you as a manager or owner can make the biggest difference. Set your employees up to win! Give them the tools and support they need to achieve their goals.

There is a big difference between supporting them to win and trying to catch them when they fail. Too many managers think their job is to be the police. If you want a corporate culture where people are constantly worried and try to avoid responsibility, become a policeman.

Just as important as it is the first two pieces are, so is this last part. Celebrate the victories. If winning the game doesn’t matter than why win? It is essential that you establish ways to recognize and/or compensate for performance. You have to make it so that winning is better than not winning.

A big mistake that managers make is rewarding those who do a good job with more work. You may add responsibilities to those you know you can count on but you also have to reward them for doing a good job with something more than more to do. If the only prize for winning is that my life gets more difficult, I’m going to choose losing.

Basically it comes down to this, teams that focus on winning usually do and teams that try not to lose most often lose. So, make the goal to win, set things up so everyone can win and make winning a good thing. If you install these three fundamentals, whatever you do to create your winning culture has a great chance for success. Leave these out and you could wind up spinning your wheels like someone I know.